I'll throw my hat in the ring here. No "insider sources," just me and my keyboard.
Kaberle gets traded to San Jose for Ryane Clowe and a draft pick.
Kevin Bieksa gets traded toWashington for one of Fleischmann/Chimera/Steckel and a pick or prospect.
Sheldon Souray ends up with the Ducks, and Edmonton takes back a bad contract.
Lee Stempniak signs with the Avalanche. It's a perfect fit.
According to Brian Burke, the Ducks are not in the mix for Kaberle. Bieksa to Anaheim makes a lot of sense, and he has played for Randy Carlyle before with the Manitoba Moose.
Canuck fans are going to be pleasantly surprised at the return for Kevin Bieksa. Even though the Canucks have to move him for salary reasons, he still carries considerable vlaue.
Only one year left on his contract (motivation, no long-term committment like Souray).
How many teams legitimately need a top-four defenseman? I count Anaheim, Los Angeles, Columbus, Washington, Montreal (depending on Markov), San Jose, Tampa Bay, and potentially a few others.
How many top-four defensemen are available? Kaberle, Bieksa, Mitchell (risk), and Souray (contract and risk)?
The Fantasy Guide is updated as of August 10. You can buy it here!
I asked my followers on Twitter for some discussion ideas for today’s ramblings. Read on to find out my thoughts on some prospects, sleeper picks, and so on. Hopefully we get some real hockey news at some point over the weekend…
I’ll post a Belanger-to-Washington analysis soon, I am just waiting to see if the signing leads to a trade or two (Fleischmann and Steckel seem to be the two most discussed names).
My thoughts on Mason Raymond – he clicks really well with Ryan Kesler. Both players are fast and love to create off of the rush. I see Kesler (and Burrows/Samuelsson, for that matter) regressing a bit offensively in 2009-10. I don’t think he can break 70 points again, playing second unit power-play minutes. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Raymond take a step towards 30 goals and 60-65 points.
Those of you with unsigned RFA’s on your fantasy squad (Ryan, Neal, and Downie, most notably), don’t worry. Yet.
My projected Northeast Division standings? 1. Boston 2. Ottawa 3. Buffalo 4. Montreal 5. Toronto
The key with him has been confidence, and he was playing with a lot of it down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Aside from Dan Boyle, there isn’t much of anything offensive on San Jose’s defense. Vlasic will see PP time but he is more suited to playing a two-way game with a focus on sound positional hockey.
Jason Demers is a decent young offensive blue liner, but he isn’t someone I’d be comfortable relying on to run one of my power play units, especially if I was hoping to contend for the Stanley Cup.
Murray is a defensive defenseman. Huskins isn’t really good at anything. Wallin is a veteran presence, but he doesn’t contribute a whole lot offensively.
Sticking with the Sharks, I am surprised how little is made of the Nabokov-to-Niittymaki change. I have never been a big Nabokov fan, but at least he was a proven starting goalie.
What has Niittymaki done (aside from absolutely own the Atlanta Thrashers) to make you confident in his ability to be the starting goalie for a team in the tough Pacific Division?
Kovalchuk situation – he’ll be in New Jersey. The two sides will find a contract that works. Why don’t they just give him Hossa’s exact deal from last summer?
More coming around 10:30 am EST!